With the breakdown such a contentious area and laws favouring the attack, organised defence is vital. The breakdown is the start point for defence so it can dominate the attack. The easiest and most obvious place to attack is immediately around the ball after a tackle. By using this activity you can cut down easy attacking metres and set a solid foundation for defending. MORE
Win the race over the ball
Clearing out a defender over the ball means winning the race for the space over the ball – and if you lose, knowing how to win that space back.
- Lie an attacker (white), and a defender (blue) next to each other in a small circle with a ball between them, then shout “GO”
- The attacker has to win the ball depending on the defender’s intentions
- – Defender goes past the ball
- – Defender stays over the ball
- – Defender goes for the ball
- Put three defenders at one end of the box
- Put three numbered attackers at other end of the box
- The feeder passes to one of the attackers (who can pass if he wants)
- The defender in front of the ball carrier makes a tackle
- The other attackers and defenders aim to win the race for the space over the ball
WHY USE IT
Work on quick reactions under pressure to make the right decision to win the space over the ball. The attacker sees whether a defender is going for the ball then decides how to deal with it.
1. A 5m circle and one ball per pair to start with. 2. A 10m x 5m box and one ball per seven
HOW TO DO IT
- An attacker (light shirt) and defender (dark) lie face down in the circle next to a ball.
- On your call, the players get to their feet to “win the race” to the ball.
- The defender has three options (see picture 1):
- – Stand over the ball and protect it.
- – Go for the ball and pick it up.
- – Drive over the ball and clear the attacker out.
- The attacker has to decide how to deal with the defender.
- Body height and who wins the race for the ball is crucial.
- Play 3v3 in the box.
- A feeder (F) passes to one of the attackers who runs at his defender (see picture 2).
- The attacker can pass but if he is tackled, the other players race to win the space over the ball (see picture 3).
- Play full contact.
- First to the ball: Win the space over and beyond it.
- Equal: Go low to high to drive him back